In March 2005, October 25th was declared Karate Day by the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly.
Long ago in the year 700, karate was born here in Okinawa. Our ancestors created the world-renowned traditional culture of karate in harmony with Okinawa’s rich nature and climate. It was originally called “tii,” meaning “hand.”
However, our ancestors, known as “the bridge between nations,” traveled to China, Southeast Asia and other parts of the world, conducting flourishing exchange with foreign peoples, and brought back the wealth and culture of the world to build peace and prosperity.
Along with this exchange, Chinese martial arts were introduced between 1400 and 1500. Karate had developed along an independent path, but it began to incorporate the strengths of Chinese martial arts enthusiastically, experiencing incredible growth. This is the karate that has been passed down to modern times.
On October 25th, 1936, the name “karate,” which has become familiar to karateka and many others around the world, was officially decided.
For this reason, it is important to mark this date as a special day in history.
As you may know, the number of karate practitioners worldwide is estimated at 50 million, and it has reputedly spread to as many as 150 countries, transcending the barriers presented by borders, language, religion, regime, and race. One could say that this incredibly rapid growth in only 50 years since World War II is due to the inestimable appeal and excellence of karate.
Needless to say, no other part of Okinawa’s culture has spread as widely or become as influential and popular among the people of the world.
Furthermore, karate is a “martial art for peace” founded on a grand philosophy that “There is no first strike in karate,” and the concept “Life itself is a treasure,” expressing respect for human life, and we strongly believe that it is needed more and more in today’s international community, and its contributions will continue to grow.
Therefore, the Prefectural Assembly declares October 25th to be “Karate Day” with the hope that the Okinawan tradition of karate will develop and contribute to world peace and happiness more than ever.
We hereby resolve the above.
March 29th, 2005 Okinawa Prefectural Assembly